You don’t often go to a movie where the audience claps as the credits roll but there was hearty applause on Sunday night at Winnipeg’s Cinematheque Theatre where I watched RBG a documentary about American Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is a remarkable and interesting woman in so many ways. Here are five.
- Ruth who is 85 has survived cancer twice and works out regularly with her personal trainer- planking and doing twenty push ups in a row.
- She wears different collars with her Supreme Court robes depending on the cases being decided and depending on whether she is offering a dissenting opinion or a majority opinion on that case.
- She was very good friends with the late Justice Antonin Scalia even though she disagreed with him vehemently on many key issues that came before the Supreme Court. They both loved the opera.
- Her granddaughter Clara Spera just graduated from Harvard Law School. Both Ruth and her daughter Jane were also Harvard law students. There are three generations of women lawyers in the family all educated at Harvard.
- Ruth has had a hand in deciding many important cases on the Supreme Court. Without her and her influence on the court there might not be gender inclusive admission policies for universities, same sex marriage rights or rights for people with mental illness to live in community settings. She has been the voice of dissent as well for many important rulings like the one which ended the manual recount of ballots in the 2000 election thus insuring a George Bush win and the most recent case where the Supreme Court decided a baker was within his rights not to provide a wedding cake for a same sex couple.
If you see the movie RBG you will know why the audience clapped at the end. I could probably write a dozen blog posts featuring five interesting things I learned about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Look for more.